Caffeine…Friend or Foe?

Caffeine…Friend or Foe?

It seems like every other week I hear news reports purporting the benefits of caffeine whether it be brain health or prevention of cancer. Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to caffeine consumption particularly for those with Diabetes or anyone trying to lose weight.

Yes, caffeine is stimulant and all stimulants affect your adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce the “fight or flight” hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol elevation can increase blood sugar which leads to spiking insulin levels, then as the caffeine is eliminated from your system, blood sugar can drop leaving you feeling weak and shaky. So the problem for Diabetics is obvious, but those trying to lose weight should also think again about consuming caffeine. As mentioned, caffeine can spike insulin. The problem for weight loss is found in insulin effect on fat cells.

Insulin effectively blocks the breakdown of body fat for use as energy. I recently quit caffeine after a 20 years of consuming it. The addiction started when I was in college staying up all night cramming for chemistry exams. I used caffeine that way for years and then transitioned into daily use.

I won’t say quitting was fun (headaches, fatigue for a week), but I do feel better. I didn’t realize it but the caffeine was affecting my sleep, energy, and mood. Ok now back to you…if you are needing to lose weight or gain better control of your diabetes, give up the java (and other caffeine products). Your health will take a turn for the better!

To your health,

Brian E. Lamkin D.O.

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